Czech Senator To Speak At CU-Boulder On Oct. 23

Published: Oct. 20, 1997

Chairman of the Czech Republic’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former ambassador to the United States, Michael Zantovsky, is scheduled to give a public lecture on NATO’s enlargement Thursday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. in the Old Main Chapel of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Zantovsky, who served in Washington, D.C., from 1992 to 1996, will speak on “NATO Enlargement, Bond Between the U.S. and Europe: The Czech Perspective.” The address is sponsored by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Center for Mass Media Research. A reception is planned after the speech in the Heritage Center on the third floor of Old Main.

The senator’s appearance in Boulder, along with three other members of the committee, is part of the group’s tour of Colorado and other points in the United States. The Czech Republic, along with Hungary and Poland, was officially invited to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in July.

Before being appointed ambassador in 1992, Zantovsky was press secretary and spokesperson for President Václav Havel, a post he held for nearly two years. Last year Zantovsky was elected chairman of the Civic Democratic Alliance, a junior partner in the Czech Republic’s coalition government of Premier Václav Klaus.

The other members of the delegation are Jan Krámek of the civic Democratic Party, Milan Spacek of the Christian Democratic Union and Vitezslav Matuska of the Czech Social Democratic Party, the largest opposition party in the Czech parliament.

Zantovsky studied psychology at Charles University in Prague and at McGill University in Montreal. After graduating with honors in 1973, he was a research assistant and later a research fellow at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague.

From 1980, he worked as a free-lance translator and author, translating into Czech more than 30 works of contemporary English and American fiction, poetry and drama by writers such as James Baldwin, Nadine Gordimer, Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer and Toni Morrison.

In 1988 he became Prague correspondent for the British news agency Reuters. At the time of Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution in November 1989, he became a founding member of the Civic Forum, an umbrella organization which coordinated the overthrow of the Communist regime, and later its press spokesperson.